Instant-Pot BBQ Soy Curls

Here’s a make-it-up-as-you-go “recipe” for making a batch of BBQ soy curls in an Instant-Pot. I’d be calling this “fake-meat candy,” as it’s really, really freakin’ good. A previous attempt at this turned out a bit soggy (lesson learned: squeeze more water out of the Soy Curls) and a bit too vinegary (lesson learned: just go for a bottled BBQ sauce instead of using ketchup to make up the “sauce gap”).

  • Half bag of Butler Foods Soy Curls – it’s what I had on hand…
  • Half a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce – in my case, it was the inexpensive Whole Foods non-organic variety – not necessarily “my favorite,” but it worked!
  • 2 tablespoons of Liquid Smoke
  • 2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Soak the Soy Curls in water, add the Liquid Smoke, Soy Sauce, and salt. Stir and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Crank up the Instant-Pot in Saute mode for about 3 minutes. Drain the Soy Curls, gently squeeze some more of the water out of it, and chuck it in the Instant-Pot. Add the BBQ sauce, stir, close the lid, and cook on high pressure manual mode set for 5 minutes. Sure, most of the house smells like fake smoke, but it’s fake meat, so there’s that.



A nice and easy and tasty vegetarian dish that I’d learned to make, thanks to my better half:

1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach, torn
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely shredded Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook gnocchi according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
  2. Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add pine nuts to pan; cook 3 minutes or until butter and nuts are lightly browned, stirring constantly.
  4. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute.
  5. Add gnocchi and spinach to pan; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts, stirring constantly.
  6. Stir in salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

If you time it right, you could have the gnocchi go right from the pot into the pan. Not sure if that necessarily makes anything taste better, but it’s a rudimentary exercise in managing concurrent parallel processes.


Obligatory Dog Photo

What good is a blog if one doesn’t post a picture of one’s dog modeling a Valentines Day hat?


Slow Cooker, Crock Pot, and Instant-Pot!

Joining the Instant-Pot Cult

I’d kinda gotten into cooking with a Crock Pot, thanks to having to make batches of chili for pot luck meals, but the “slow” part of the slow cooker never sat well with me. I guess there is a poetic, domestic pacing to having a meal cook itself over 8+ hours, but I’d never been terribly happy with the results, at least from my own attempts at all-day simmers. I’m not sure how I finally got around to ordering an Instant-Pot, but I’m glad I did. It’s an easy and fast way of making a small repertoire of vegetarian goodness at home.

While I’m a voracious meat eater, I prefer not to cook meat at home. No idea why. Anyway, here are some very easy recipes.

Pasta Faux-lognese

A vegan alternative to the ground meat pasta sauce:

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Textured Vegetable Protein
  • 1 jar of good marinara sauce
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of water

Dice the onion and sautee it in the Instant-Pot with the olive oil until translucent. Add all other ingredients, stir a bit, and cook on the “Soup” setting for 5 minutes. Serve over pasta. Or over polenta.

Vegan Chili
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Textured Vegetable Protein
  • 1 package of Wick Fowler’s 2 Alarm Chili Mix
  • 1 medium can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium can kidney beans
  • 1 medium can pinto beans
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Dice and sautee the onion with olive oil for 2 minutes. Add all other ingredients (well, maybe hold off on the cayenne from the chili mix, and I use half the salt packet and none of the masa), stir a bit, and cook on the “Soup” setting for 5 minutes. Serve with anything that goes with chili.

Soy Curl Curry
  • 1/2 package Butler Foods Soy Curls
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 jar Indian Curry simmer sauce
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Soak the soy curls in room temperature water, stir in salt, let it sit for 10 minutes. Chop and sautee onion with the butter for about 2 minutes. Drain and add the soy curls, sautee for another 2 minutes. Stir in the simmer sauce, and cook on the “Soup” setting for 3 minutes. Serve over rice.


A Can-do Attitude

It’s krautrock night at the Hollywood Theater! #onlyinportland #outonaschoolnight

My favorite part of the documentary has to be the bit where Malcolm Mooney and Damo Suzuki meet up. Someone should write a sweet little tune about that.


Scoot ‘n Shoot ‘n Snoot

A very well-booped snoot in Tualatin. And my first mobile post. Yay.